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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 12, 2006

Rangers fined for Villarreal bus attack

UEFA's control and disciplinary body have handed Rangers a £9,000 for the behaviour of their supporters before their away Champions League game against Villarreal on March 7.

The Spanish club's team bus was attacked and a window was smashed prior to the second leg.

But they were found not guilty of acts of alleged discriminatory chants at both legs of the tie, which Villarreal won on the away-goals rule.

A UEFA statement read: 'Rangers have been fined 13,000 euros (£9,000) for incidents at their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie against Spanish outfit Villarreal last month.

'UEFA's control and disciplinary body imposed the fine on Rangers following the improper conduct of some of their supporters, notably the smashing of a window of the Villarreal team bus at the second-leg match in Spain on March 7.

'The body declared the Rangers fans not guilty of alleged discriminatory chants at both legs of the tie, which Villarreal won on the away-goals rule after the two sides had finished 3-3 on aggregate.

'This decision can be appealed against within three days of receiving the written grounds for the verdict, in which the reasonings will be explained.'

But the third-placed Bank of Scotland Premier League outfit are unlikely to appeal against the ruling of the governing body.

UEFA compiled a dossier of evidence against Rangers, including television footage from Ibrox and El Madrigal Stadium.

Rangers feared they could have parts of Ibrox closed down judging by the previous punishments handed to Steaua Bucharest and Sparta Prague, whose home attendances were restricted by UEFA for racist chanting by supporters.

That prompted Rangers to submit a hefty defence of their own to UEFA, in which the club cited their anti-bigotry measures as evidence of their efforts to clean up the matchday atmosphere at Ibrox.

Rangers also sent a letter from Glasgow City Council which praised the club for its anti-bigotry efforts.

UEFA director of communications William Gaillard said: 'Rangers fans were not guilty of sectarian discriminatory or racist chanting at either of those stadiums.

'What is absolutely essential is that a decision has been fair.

'If the disciplinary body found Rangers were not involved in sectarian chants then there would be no reason to sanction the club.

'The disciplinary body looked at the evidence and listened to the case given by the club and everyone is innocent until proven guilty.'

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